Three Wildcat All-Americans Highlight Classic Races at NCAA Championships

Three Wildcat All-Americans Highlight Classic Races at NCAA Championships

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo.—Northern Michigan University Nordic Skiing earned three All-America awards combined in the women's and men's classic style races Thursday at the NCAA Skiing Championships hosted by Colorado University. Individuals finishing first through fifth receive first team All-America awards, while sixth through 10th are honored on the second team.

For the second-consecutive season, senior Vivian Hett (Burnsville, Minnesota) collected All-America honors with a 10th-place finish in the women's five-kilometer classic race. Hett finished the race in 16 minutes, 0.50 seconds to earn the top-10 finish at the national meet. Hett's honor is the 94th All-America award for the Wildcats in program history.

Also competing for NMU were junior Nicole Schneider (Plymouth, Minnesota) and senior Kristen Bourne (Lake Elmo, Minnesota). Schneider finished 20th in the 40-competitor field. Bourne rounded out the Wildcat skiers in 30th. Schneider crossed the finish line with a time of 16:27.90, while Bourne finished in 17:03.20.

Two more Wildcats earned All-America Awards in the men's race with junior Ian Torchia (Rochester, Minnesota) being honored on the first-team. Torchia is now a two-time All-American after his fifth-place finish in the classic 10-kilometer race with a time of 28:23.30.

Freshman Kjetil Baanerud (Oslo, Norway) became the 41st All-American in program history with his 10th-place performance on Thursday. Despite being the final skier to take the field, Baanerud finished in 28:48.80 to earn second-team honors. The awards for Torchia and Baanerud are the 95th and 96th All-America awards in NMU Nordic Skiing history.

The final Wildcat skier on the men's side was sophomore Lars Soensterud (Oslo, Norway) who finished 28th in the field of 40. Soensterud was the first NMU skier to take the field and crossed the finish line in 29:53.90.

As a team, the NMU women finished the event with 33 points as each of the three skiers scored. The total was tied for seventh for the event. On the men's side, the Wildcats collected 53 points with all three skiers earning points. Their total was enough for fourth in the event.

Despite not having an alpine team, NMU sits in 10th place after four combined men's and women's events. Their 86 points trail the leader through half of the competition, Colorado University who has 276 combined points.

After a day off on Friday, the Wildcats will compete in the freestyle races on Saturday. The men will start the day with the 20-kilometer race at 11 a.m. (EST) with the women's 15-kilometer race to follow at 1 p.m. (EST). Live results and a video stream can be found HERE.